Ioneer remains committed to pursuing conservation efforts for Buckwheat which address current gaps in our scientific knowledge of the species and to address threats that are unrelated to our proposed mining activities. We have completed numerous studies and greatly advanced scientific knowledge of the plant. This work has resulted in several new clarifications from previous studies.
Moreover, Ioneer has budgeted $1,000,000 over the next several years to conduct research and implement conservation measures to address risks to the species that are not related to our mining activities.
Ioneer intends to continue its cooperative work with interested agencies on these efforts. Examples of the kinds of studies that could be cooperatively developed with the BLM and the FWS include, but may not be limited to:
- Field surveys for new populations
- Seed collection and banking
- Herbivory monitoring
- Pollinator studies
- Seeding studies
- Ecological studies to understand the factors determining the distribution of Buckwheat
- Propagation and transplant studies
- Demographic Monitoring
- Population modeling
- Climate monitoring
- Genetic analyses
Based upon the best available science, we are highly confident that with a combination of avoidance and transplanting, as has been successfully demonstrated with other mat buckwheat species in the region, we can achieve the successful coexistence of Tiehm’s buckwheat and our environmentally important project, which will supply critically needed lithium products in the U.S.